Reducing waste in the potato supply chain comes down to careful management of soil, seed and water, as James Andrews discovers, reports Farmers Weekly Interactive.
Potato processor Solanum is planning to dramatically reduce waste in the supply chain by improving quality in the field.
War on Waste is a five-year project which the firm started in 2008 to assess the level of waste produced in the potato supply chain and come up with practical solutions to reduce it.
The project found that for every 1000t of potatoes produced for a retail crop, just 583t made it to the consumer. That meant 42% didn't make it to the end market it was grown for.
Inefficiencies occur throughout the supply chain, but the most important area to address is how the crop is grown and managed in the field, says Simon Bowen, the firm's agronomy director.
Solanum is tackling waste by working closely with its team of 40 growers to make sure field operations are as tight as possible. In 2009 the processor managed to cut waste by 4 per cent and has set a target to slash it to 35% by the end of the project in 2013.